Fifteensquared

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Independent 6,946 by Radian

Posted by Simon Harris on January 20th, 2009

Simon Harris.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

Hands up who didn’t foresee a presidential-themed crossword for today? I do tend to enjoy Radian’s outings, and this was no exception. Pretty easy overall, although I’ll admit to keeping a list of ex-presidents on hand throughout.

Across
7 NATIONAL ANTHEM – THEMAN* after (Grand) NATIONAL.
9 AURORA – the cruiser in question being The Aurora.
10 IMPOLITE – I + (POEM* “composed about” LIT) .
11 BULAWAYO – [-istan]BUL A WAY O[-ut].
13 PIERCE – RECIPE*. Franklin Pierce – 1853-1857.
15 APACHE – ACHE “to overrun” PA.
17 GRAVEL – G + RAVEL. Apparently an alternative term for kidney stones.
19 KISSER – KISS[-ing]ER.
20 LEAP YEAR – (PLAYER + EA)*. “Ea” being an O.E. word for “river, running water”, and still in use in Lancashire, apparently.
22 UNSPOILT – (OIL “found after” P) in Unst.
24 HOOVER – clever. “Oh” is “ho, over”. Herbert Hoover – 1929-1933.
26 HAIL TO THE CHIEF – (OHFELICITATE + HH)*. I’m not sure that this is strictly a national anthem…maybe with a lower-case N and A it is.
Down
1 INAUGURATION DAY – ATYOUINGUARDIAN*, and today’s theme.
2 OTTO – O, with OTT “at first”.
3 MADISON – SAIDO* in MN. James Madison – 1809-1817.
4 BAGPIPER – BIGPAPER*.
5 ET AL – [-doubl]E TAL[-k].
6 VERTICAL TAKEOFF – “erect” = “vertical”, “shed” = “take off”.
8 OBAMA – AMABO<.
12 ADAMSJohn Adams – 1797-1801.
14 ENVOY – [-c]ONVEY[-s]*.
16 HARRISON – “NO, SIRRAH”<. William Henry Harrison – March, 1841 – April 1841.
18 BLOTCHY – HOLBYC[-i]T[-y]*.
21 AD HOC – A DOC “tours” H. I’m surprised not to have seen this before!
23 POLK – POL[-icy] + K. James K. Polk – 1845-1849.
25 OBIT – cd.

8 Responses to “Independent 6,946 by Radian”

  1. Ali says:

    Let me the first to stick my hand in the air! Took me a while to realise I’m afraid to say, but the penny dropped with 1D.

    A great puzzle from a setter who continues to get better all the time. I loved the OBAMA and HOOVER clues.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Very minor point – in BAGPIPER, just two letters were exchanged from ‘big paper’, which is why the clue put it like that, I guess. Enjoyable puzzle.

  3. beermagnet says:

    Thanks for the AURORA link. I didn’t get that and now excuse self for not knowing, but now thanks to you, I do!
    I also didn’t get OTTO which I really should have, especially as yet again we have identical answers in simultaneous Indie and Graun puzzles.
    One that I wonder if there is more going on is 15A: I’d twigged the day’s theme and strained my brain for a prez – I eventually did get APACHE from the construction, but if the clue is making a point I’m missing it.
    Otherwise – good puzzle, good theme, good blog.

  4. nmsindy says:

    APACHE – I think it’s just saying they were there before PIERCE ET AL i.e. all the Presidents.

  5. Wil Ransome says:

    Nice, though like Simon I had a list of American Presidents to refer to. If I hadn’t I’d never have got some of them.

    A small point: in 9ac it seems to be 2 defs, ‘dawn’ and ‘cruiser in St P’. So ‘on’ is a link-word, and I’ve never seen it as such before. Don’t like it. But perhaps there’s some other explanation.

  6. NealH says:

    I guessed Obama for 5 down, but wasn’t very confident. I thought it must be some sort of latin expression, which is always an annoyance for me because it was the language I didn’t study at school. Unfortunately, the latin translator I consulted gave something completely different for “I will love”.

    I deliberately avoided getting a list of ex-presidents because I thought that would make it a bit too easy. I’d never heard of Polk, but got it from the wordplay.

  7. Allan_C says:

    Did anyone else notice that some pairs of adjacent letters around the perimiter formed the two-letter abbreviations of US states – ME near the top right, NY bottom left, also KY, reversed? I wondered if this was going to be a nina, but other combinations don’t work.
    I had anticipated a suitably themed puzzle and must confess that I dived for the list of presidents (so conveniently provided by the Indy) as soon as I realised it would help!

  8. Allan_C says:

    Sorry – perimeter not perimiter. Good thing that wasn’t one of the answers!

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